MANILA, Philippines – Following its collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) is upgrading its study and development for reduction parameter optimization of low-grade nickel laterites.
The Metallurgical Technology Division (MeTD) of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau is working with the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEETRD) of the Department of Science and Technology intended for a two-year task that will commence on this year’s second quarter.
The reduction parameter optimization of low-grade laterites and supervision of experimental testing of blast furnace for the nickel pig iron (NPI) production are what the “Pilot Scale Production of Nickel Pig Iron from Low Grade Laterite Ore” project aims for.
Nickel pig iron, which originated from China, is a low-cost alternative to pure nickel utilizing laterite nickel ores that is used in stainless steel production.
Laterite nickel ores which are used to create nickel pig iron are richly found in Indonesia. Together with concentrations in the Philippines, laterite nickel ores account for almost 40 percent of the noted world reserves.
This project of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau is the agency’s response to the Department of Science and Technology’s order for research plans subject to fund support.
It was endorsed last year for review. Included in the review process, among others, were division review and evaluation of the technical panel and management team.
The project also underwent evaluation as regards technical feasibility, sustainability, financial viability, and its conformity to the Department of Science and Technology’s broadened 6Ps, being Patents, Publications, Policies, Products, Places, and People Services.
Led by the Department of Science and Technology, the pre-execution meeting had been carried out already. The Mines and Geosciences Bureau now anticipates the DOST-PCIEETRD’s release of the memorandum of agreement.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau pursues breakthrough technologies for mineral value addition of the country via research and development.
It also considers to present an additional project that will center on a lower-cost hydrometallurgical process of extracting nickel as well as laterite ores’ potential rare earth contents.
In February, Roy A. Cimatu, environment secretary, has proposed regulation and legalization of small-scale mining companies. He promised to quicken the Minahang Bayan application process starting with those who seek to work in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).